Just like we do for the world of fashion, we stopped by this year’s iteration of Baselworld to get an inside look at what’s percolating behind the doors of some of the world’s preeminent watchmakers. Held in the heart of Europe at Basel’s premier exhibition hall designed by local architects Herzog & de Meuron, Baselworld 2015 played host to over 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries. Nearly 100,000 people attended this year’s event to browse offerings from top brands and newcomers alike.
Local luxury heavyweights like Rolex, Tudor, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Omega, Patek Phillippe and Tissot occupied a majority of the main hall with impressive stands three stories each. Rolex took the opportunity to introduce some of their latest innovations including the 2015 Oyster Perpetual, which counts the coveted 2015 Yacht Master “Eve-rose” among its offerings. Affordable alternative Tudor, meanwhile, took inspiration from earthen extremes as they updated their North Flag and Pelagos lines with movements developed and produced by the brand itself – a first for the Rolex spinoff.
Adding their name to the smartwatch map, Tag Heuer put forth their upcoming partnership with Intel and Google under the banner “Silicon Valley Meets Switzerland.” No concrete details were revealed, besides the fact that the watch will premier at “the end of the year.” JAY Z-favorite Hublot celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Big Bang with seven new models, including their recent collaboration with Italia Independent.
Omega focused their efforts on the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” collection, as well as a decadent version of the Globemaster, which houses the brand’s most advanced mechanical movement and features a design inspired by early constellation models. Ultra-luxury brand Patek Phillippe showcased just about every single one of their movements, alongside introducing new models like the 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time.
The highlight of Tissot’s display was undoubtedly the T-Touch Expert Solar, the first tactile watch to be powered by solar energy. Updates to the newest version include a new bezel with compass rose rather than numbers.
Relatively new to the luxury world is De Grisigono, founded in 1993, who showcased the Instrumento N°Uno Tourbillon, which, as the name suggests, features a tourbillon flying inside a sapphire carriage. A somewhat unorthodox design, the timepiece is outfitted with an innovative case occupying a generous volume of 59.2 mm x 33 mm x 14.99 mm.
Although lifestyle brands generally save their presentations for fashion tradeshows, several familiar to the Highsnobiety world were in attendance including Triwa, Barbour, Braun and Edwin. The former saw a small but vast display of goods, arranged in a manner similar to their Stockholm flagship store. Nearly all of their most recent and popular releases were included, while seeing every piece side by side helped communicate Triwa’s Swedish vision and aesthetic, which relies heavily on the organic leathers produced by local family-run tannery Tärnsjö.
Barbour’s appearance caught us by surprise as they’re quite new to the watch game. Despite their fresh beginnings, however, they succeeded in providing a familiar approach to their offerings via a carefully curated stand. Braun, home of legendary designer Dieter Rams, showed off their simple and timeless devices across an equally well-designed booth.
Stopping by Edwin’s stand, we checked out their early products, which come in at a reasonable price point in line with the brand’s iconic denim creations. About as interactive as it gets, Toronto barber Jon Roth of Crows Nest Barber Shop hooked up the Highsnobiety team with fresh ‘do’s for the remainder of the enormous show.
Enjoy our recap above, and stay tuned for select product coverage and in-depth interviews from Baselworld 2015.
- Photography: Roman Menge for Highsnobiety.com